Tonight I tackled a project that I have been wanting to do for a while.  I have had the materials, the ideas, the drive, even the time.  However I have a problem I must confess to you.  My best hours of operation are and always have been between 9:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.   I know, perfect for a teacher right?   This would explain why my body goes into shock the first couple weeks of school each year.  It’s similar to getting out of a hot tub and jumping into a freezing cold lake.  I put it through this several times every year.  At some point it is going to rebel and I will have to come up with a new plan, but for now great things are getting done while others are having a great sleep.

Back to the project…..  I have been noticing that the more demands that are put on me as far as all of the material that needs to be taught, the faster I talk and the more glazed my students’ looks become.  Last year I started trying to do a few things to improve my students’ engagement in the lessons I’m teaching.  For a couple of years I have used music a lot.  We have quick moments of dance parties or exercise breaks.  This helps, but it is just not enough.  So this year one of my goals is to really concentrate on making sure my students are engaged in my teaching.  Let’s admit it, everyone of us has a limit to our attention span and although I find myself quite entertaining I am aware that my students don’t find the same enjoyment from hearing my voice.  It is time to do something about this little problem.    It’s time for some brain breaks. I have been working on making a list of one minute activities that I can draw from a bucket when the eye glaze has taken over.  Of course I couldn’t just make a list, there had to be a cute way to display them. I have seen a couple of great ideas on pinterest that were my inspiration.  I loved this one and stuck with the idea of using craft sticks.  She also included a list of some of the activities that she used, she had some great ideas.  We have already established that I have a scrapbook paper addiction so anytime I can use some of it in a project I’m on it.

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I found a box of 300 craft sticks on clearance at the craft store. (Yes I know now I have to come up with 270 more projects for them but I like a sale).  I also found some wooden shapes, not on clearance but still very inexpensive.  Then of course my large supply of paper always comes in handy.

I began by tracing the shapes on the back of the scrapbook paper and cutting them out.  I used spray adhesive to apply it to the wooden shapes and sticks.

Side note:  I have a love/hate relationship with spray adhesive.  I love how it works and how quickly I can finish a project with it.  I hate the fact that my fingers will be glued together for the next 24hrs no matter how much soap and water I use. It’s a sacrifice I make for the sake of crafting.  Man life is tough. 🙂

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I then used my glue gun (I have nothing but love for this form of adhesive) to attach the sticks to the shapes.

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Okay here is where you use your imagination.  I then will use my label maker to label each one with an activity.  This way either myself or a student can draw out an activity for that break.  However my label maker is currently MIA.  This is very tragic, I have scoured high an low around the house for this very important teaching tool and no luck.  I am really hoping it is safely in place in my classroom and not gone for good. If it’s not there you may see missing posters popping up at stores near you.

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I found a basket at the dollar store that will work great for storing them through out the year.

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I’m looking forward to using this with my new group of kiddos.  I am still collecting a list of brain breaks to use but here are some that I have so far.

List of brain breaks

There are many more so I will post a list when I have finalized it.  However my window of 9-1:00 has run out and my pillow is calling.

Lord it’s in your hands!

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